When Billy Graham died a couple weeks ago, the news was all about “America’s Pastor” and his impact on the world. It was interesting, but Billy Graham wasn’t one of my go-to people for religion or spiritual inspiration. To me, he was more of my parent’s generation…though he touched the lives of many younger people. And his son, Franklin Graham, is doing wonderful medical and humanitarian work around the world with Samaritans Purse.
It wasn’t Billy but his spouse, Ruth Bell Graham, who fascinated me. In one way, she was so typical of the women of her day. She married her college sweetheart at twenty-three and had five kids between 1945 -1958. She was the stay-at-home mom.
But that’s sort of where the comparison to women of her generation stopped.
Unlike most American Children, Ruth Bell Graham’s parents were Presbyterian missionaries. Ruth was born in China during a missionary trip. She went to high school in what is now North Korea. She was college-educated – something that only a few women did in the 1930’s and 40’s. And, supposedly, women who did go were sent to college to get their “mrs”.
Ruth must have been a pretty feisty woman! In spite of her spouse being an internationally known Baptist evangelist, Ruth never changed her religion. In fact, while Billy was traveling the world, Ruth almost single-handedly raised her five children, wrote a couple books, and even taught Sunday school.
Ruth Bell Graham was one of the women who was – for me – an early role model of a Victorious Woman. She lived to be 87.
So, this morning and for the little bit of time I was watching the coverage of Billy Graham’s funeral, her victories what I was thinking about.
Here are pictures from the life of Ruth Bell Graham
Did you get your taxes done? I did, but much later than usual. As a result, I was in a very long line at the post office today. It wasn’t just with tax-payers. There were five people in line ahead of me who were mailing packages, four had multiple packages, so the line grew longer fast.
I’m a people watcher, so I watched the other people who did have their phone with them. I’m guessing they were answering emails or checking their social media because most of them were smiling and a couple chuckled.
Watching people do that always makes me laugh because I’m old enough to remember a time when, if you saw someone by themselves – in a line or in a car – and they were laughing or talking, you thought they were a little off. Now you realize they’re having a conversation with someone, either talking or texting, or joining a party on facebook or twitter. I sometimes think this is such a good time to be crazy because you can get away with so much more in public than you could even ten or fifteen years ago. And, yes, I know “crazy” isn’t a politically correct. But I have a very long family history with crazy and that’s what I call it.
Anyway, most of the people were quietly engaged. Except for one loud man, who had no idea how lucky he was to be several people down the line from me. I hate it when people are rude like that in public…like I should be impressed by his/her importance.
One time, also at a post office, the woman in front of me was on her phone gossiping. I felt she was making all of us join in the scandalous conversation. So, when she asked something like, “What do you think?” I answered her.
That woman spun around and looked at me like I was crazy. I said, “We’re all listening, and you asked, so I’m answering you.” She gave me the dirtiest look. But she got the message and told the person on the line she’d call them back.
I know, it was ballsy of me and, for a half second, I was waiting for John Quinones, to pop out and I’d be on the “What Would You Do” show. He didn’t. But that woman was having wasn’t a nice conversation and I felt like it was stressing people out. It was definitely stressing me out, and I can do stressed-out all by myself. I don’t need any help.
It’s the same thing when I’m near someone and every other word in the conversation is an f-bomb. I’m no prig, and no stranger to the language, but it’s uncomfortable in a public place. You know those signs that say no shirt-no shoes-no service. I think they should start including no cell phone and no “f’s” in public.
So I spoke up. I wish I’d do that more. I wish everyone would do that more. When people don’t have respect for other people, they should be told. I only did it once, but I’ll bet if more people did that, & I mean, a lot of people, more of those conversations would be taken outside the building or into a private place.
What would you do? Would you “join in” on someone’s loud phone conversation? Or have you already done it…and what happened?
We had an interesting conversation with Bea Joyner this afternoon about Self-Esteem and Emotional Intelligence. I asked Bea to stop by our Happy Hour for two reasons…because we’re in the last quarter of the year and, before you know it, we’re going to be dealing with holidays, our families and then our New Year’s resolutions. So we need to start now to shore up our self-esteem so we can deal with the family crazies and also hit the ground running for next year’s goals.
The other reason I asked her to come here today is to talk about millennials in the workplace. We’re all dealing with them – whether it’s working in a company with them side-by-side or they’re the people who are selling us products and services. Bea has some good insights and tips on both and she’ll be here in a little bit.
We talked about two studies. Here they are:
I talked about the shooting yesterday. I found this list of school and mass shootings. It’s disturbing to note that most of the shooters were between 16 & 25 years old – kids with their whole life ahead of them. And, while the politicizing of it always goes to gun control, we aren’t talking about two things: mental illness and emotional intelligence. Coming from a family where there is mental illness, I’ve done considerable research on that topic. I’m not a psychologist or psychiatrist, but from my own personal experiences, I believe there is some connection between mental illness and the lack of emotional intelligence…and that one of the other is acerbated by the “everybody gets a trophy” cultural rut we put millennials into during their developmental years.
When Pope Francis visited Philly, he stayed at St. Charles Seminary in Overbrook. It has quite the history. Here’s the link that tells you more: St. Charles Borromeo
If you havne’t read the Maine Diaries yet, check them out: Maine Diaries
Today’s quote is a twist on John Lennon’s “Life is what happens while you’re making other plans.” I don’t know who said it, but whomever it was said,
“Life is what happens while you’re looking at your smartphone.”